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Asked to Give DNA Back

A South African university has instructed the Wellcome Sanger Institute to return DNA samples it has that were collected from indigenous African communities, The Times reports.

According to The Times, officials from Stellenbosch University say the Sanger sought to commercialize samples that had been provided to it to study "population history and human evolution." Researchers from African universities and the Lebanese American University collected these samples from indigenous populations, including the Nama people, solely for research and not for commercialization, it adds.

But in a letter sent to the Sanger, the Stellenbosch officials say they learned the Sanger was in talks with Thermo Fisher to develop a commercial research tool based on these samples and that this "raises serious legal and ethical consequences," as The Times reports.

The Sanger denies the allegations and says it did not breach its agreement, according to The Times. It adds that the Sanger says that a person working at the institute proposed the commercialization work, but that the institute did not pursue it.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.